1st Edition

Teaching Reading and Literature with Classroom Talk Dialogical Approaches and Practical Strategies in the Secondary ELA Classroom

By Dawan Coombs Copyright 2025
    206 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    206 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    This book presents a framework for conceptualizing and enacting dialogic approaches to teaching literature and reading in your classroom. Dialogical approaches have often been used in secondary classrooms for teaching writing by incorporating students’ lives and experiences into English Language Arts curriculum. But what might it look like to create reading moments that bring texts to life by allowing students to use their own identities and experiences as the foundation for their interpretation? The most current research in reading, motivation, culturally responsive teaching, and even neuroscience point to the power of dialogical approaches to not only engage students in reading texts, but—when used consistently and repeatedly—help increase students’ reading growth and achievement. Dialogical approaches can be particularly helpful for struggling readers, English language learners, and neurodivergent students. This book explores dialogical approaches to teaching reading and literature in secondary ELA classrooms with descriptions of hands-on activities, models of dialogical strategies, and real-time examples from ELA and reading classes. Each chapter includes motivating, accessible, and research-based methods and tools that help students connect content to their lives and explore a diversity of perspectives. With resources such as assignment sheets and rubrics, this is an essential book for middle and high school ELA teachers, reading coaches and interventionists, teachers working with ELLs, and pre-service teachers who are looking to better understand and utilize dialogical approaches to support their students in transforming their reader identities.


    1. Exploring a Dialogical Approach to Teaching Literature  2. Artifactual Inquiries  3. Simulations  4. Drama  5. Integrating Dialogical Approaches  6. Continuing the Dialogue


    Dawan Coombs is Associate Professor of English at Brigham Young University, USA.

    "Dawan Coombs has created a call to make reading and literature dialogic and actionable. This book is for English language arts teachers who want to help students make sense of reading by transforming the act of reading into a form of inquiry that leads to experiential learning. Full of practical and engaging ideas and strategies, this book encourages us to teach students not only to communicate about the texts they are reading but also, and most importantly, in meaningful dialogue with one another."

    Alan Brown, Associate Professor of English Education, Wake Forest University, USA.


    "Coombs’s clear care for students is embedded in every aspect of this very readable book: in the engaging classroom scenes and in the researched background for reading strategies. It shows up in the adaptations and examples she shares to illustrate how teachers could adjust the strategies into effective practices for their own classrooms. Teachers reading this book will feel inspired to design positive reading experiences that prepare students to lead effective literate lives beyond school. I certainly did."

    Deborah Dean, Department Chair, English, Brigham Young University, USA.